My, my what we don't learn as we begin to review a product that we've used, liked and not thought any thing about beyond that. Such is the case with Pennsaid, an NSAID topical solution that I've been using to attempt to control osteoarthritis in my knee.
This particular anti-inflammatory is very simple to use, my prescription calls for 10 drops of the clear, odorless liquid, massaged into my knee and I usually only use this medication when my knee is swollen and painful enough that the throbbing just doesn't want to subside with the use of analgesics or heating pad. Usually one application of 10 drops works quickly and lasts allowing me to go without pain for hours afterwards, or until the next weather change moves in whichever comes first.
The standard prescribed dose that the manufacturer recommends is 40 drops used 4 times daily but for not longer than a 3 month period if used continously. Usually a Medical practitioner will prescribe the proper dosage based on your medical history, your weight and the severity of the condition it is being used to treat. The liquid is rubbed fully into the painful area 10 drops at a time and allowed to dry in between each application.
That said, as I usually try to do, an investigation of ingredients and side effects related to the medication does cause me to caution anyone who may currently be using this medication to take some time to learn about the side effects related to it. If you are considering using this medication or your Doctor has recommended it be certain to discuss any concerns or problems you may have about it, or while using it, with him. Surprisingly the side effects are quite numerous and I think that if I had known about many of them when I was first prescribed this medication, I likely would have balked at using it. My Doctor however is a very thorough individual who has never steered me wrong in the 14 years I've been going to him so I am quite confident that the low dosage he recommended for me is exactly in keeping with his desire to ensure the risks do not outweigh the benefits.
Just a few of the many listed side effects include burning or itching, dry skin and possible scaliness or reddening and thickening of the skin in the area where the topical solution is being applied. Other more serious ones can include loss of strength, nausea, headache, vomiting, loss or thinning of hair etc.
It's also very important that after applying this solution that your hands are washed carefully and they do not touch eyes or mucous membranes. Although I am not certain when this particular medication would ever be prescribed to be taken by mouth as it should not be ingested from what I can determine, there are also side effects listed that relate to stomach ulcers, ulcer bleeding, black and tarry stools etc.
Frankly, this medication does indeed sound rather potent and dangerous however, at the low dosage of 10 drops I do have to state that it has been one of the most effective medications I have been prescribed in treating the pain and swelling that I deal with regularly from osteoarthritis.
I highly recommend that anyone considering or currently using this medication, review the above information site and any concerns be addressed with your practitioner. This medication in my opinion does sound rather scary, but I think that given the relief it has provided me and due to the fact that I usually only resort to using it when the pain has become intolerable or the swelling unbearable, I'll continue to use it occasionally as to date I've not experienced any of the side effects listed. As someone who usually reacts poorly to most medications, I'm quite relieved that the way in which I use this medication is not placing me at greater risk of even more serious side effect related illness or discomforts.
For the pain and swelling of Osteoarthritis of the knee it's incredibly effective but I must strongly recommend that you educate yourself should this medication be prescribed to you and be very careful to follow recommended dosage and application practices. If in doubt, never be afraid to question.